Lipomas are benign lumps composed of adipose tissue that grow between the skin and the underlying muscle. Patients often describe a lipoma as mobile oval mass of tissue they can feel under the skin. They are painless and the skin colour is unchanged.
They most commonly develop on the back, upper arms, forearms, thighs, although they can be found on any body part including internal organs. Lipomas are a benign growths that are aesthetically unattractive and that is the most common reason for their removal.
While they are growing, they can cause pressure on nerve fibres, blood vessels or joints, resulting in discomfort, and sometimes pain.
In that case their removal is recommended with pH verification.
How are lipomas formed?
It is not known why lipomas develop. There may be a genetic predisposition – familial multiple lipomatosis.
About 1% of the population will develop one or more lipoma during their life.
Obesity, increased cholesterol or insulin resistance increase the risk of lipoma formation.
Lipoma should be removed if:
* skin colour above the lipoma starts to change
* lipoma becomes hard and doesn’t move easily
* it is painful
* starts suddenly growing
* a doctor is not sure whether it is a lipoma or another type of tumour. The possibility of malignant cells forming inside the lipoma is small, but it exists.
There is still no clear attitude regarding the liposarcoma development – if they develop as independent growths or on the lipoma base.
How is lipoma diagnosed?
Diagnosis of lipoma is made based on ordinary examination and lump palpitation.
If there is any dilemma, the patient is referred to an ultrasound, MRI or scanner. More information about lipoma removal, you can find here.
Atheromas are fatty lumps that have a white sac with a fatty substance inside.
They belong to the group of epidermoid cysts and are fixed to the third layer of the skin and do not spread deeper into the adipose tissue.
Their size can be from several millimetres to several centimetres. They are of benign nature, but can become inflamed over time.
If inflamed, atheroma grows suddenly, becomes sore and red. A purulent collection is formed on the site of atheroma, as a result of which an intervention is often required. Inflammation can resolve with antibiotic therapy or incision. If not treated, the inflammation can spread, leading to fever and, occasionally, to the change of the general condition of the body.
People who have acne, are more prone to developing atheroma.
Since we do not know what causes the atheroma to develop, their prevention is not possible. More information about atheroma removal, you can find here.